Walmart International is an international division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, which scored the third-largest retailer. Walmart’s expansion dates back to 1991, when the first non-US store was opened in Mexico. Later, Walmart opened its stores in more than 30 other countries, which resulted in both success and failure in some markets. Markets in the United Kingdom, USA, and Mexico have brought the company more than 85% of sales. Whereas in such markets as China, Brazil, Germany, and South Korea, the company has failed. The investigated literature showed what features the company should possess to guarantee a successful operation. Moreover, the analysis of sources made it clear what mistakes could be made by the company. Therefore, the example of Walmart’s operation in non-US states proves the importance of understanding a country’s specifics.
Walmart operates successfully in such markets as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico. Its implementation strategies drive Walmart’s success in these countries. In Mexico, for example, Walmart replicated its Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) model, which led to the store’s further popularity in the country (Alcácer, 2013). The company also enjoyed a cheap labor force and partnered with a local transportation company, which allowed it to reduce its costs. In Canada, Walmart acquired some local discount stores and rebranded the management, which made them more profitable. In the same way, Walmart entered the UK market through the acquisition of Asda.
Despite Walmart’s huge success in these markets, it still experienced some failures, for example, in Asia. The Chinese market was fundamentally different from the American one, which led to particular difficulties. Chinese consumers were not interested in stores like Walmart, and it was much easier for them to shop in markets or small grocery stores (Alcácer, 2013). Also, China had a ban on plastic bags, which led to customers buying much less than the Americans wanted.
Thus, Walmart had great success in some countries because it was able to integrate its strategies and models successfully. The acquisition of local retail stores and their improvements also had a positive impact on Walmart’s operations. On the other hand, the company failed in the Asian market due to the same methods being used there as in the Western markets. Therefore, country and cultural specifics affect the success of companies operating abroad.
Alcácer, J., Agrawal, A., & Vaish, H. (2013). Walmart around the World. Harvard Business School, 9-714-431.